Archive for the ‘ Recovery Stories ’ Category

I Learned How to Live Again

By Elizabeth
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By Elizabeth

How long were you in rehab?

I was in residential treatment for about six months. My disease had progressed to a point where I needed that. I had pretty good experiences overall.

What was the most helpful feature of rehab?

Being in treatment helped me to learn how to live again. I realized that I am not in control of other people, I got psychological help, and I learned how to live without alcohol and drugs. I don’t know if I would have been able to stay sober without treatment, as I was using and drinking 24/7 when I came in. I had to be medically withdrawn, and I needed a lot of help and support. I learned how to look at myself and got a start on Alcoholics Anonymous. I have been sober for almost 7 years and I’m a grateful alcoholic.

Advice

  • I would say that rehab is a safe place where you learn that you are not in charge. It helps immensely that you can be dealing with you disease and it’s consequences and not have to work, or be confronted with temptation by using friends. I know a lot of people who didn’t go to treatment and are sober, but for me, I needed it.

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June 26th, 2015  in Going to Rehab No Comments »

My Family Gave Up on Me

By Donna
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By Donna

Why did you decide to quit?

My decision was virtually based on that my whole family had given up on me. No one wanted to speak to me or have anything to do with me. One day I had too much to drink and was sent to the ER. I got a phone call from my daughter, she told me that my grandchildren were one of my reasons for living (I wanted to die). I went on line and found where the AA meetings were in my town and went to the very first meeting. My doctor also told me that my liver was accelerated, so he virtually told me that I would die if I kept it up.

How did you get sober?

I landed in the ER one night. A woman from Social Services talked to me and told me about AA and the outpatient program they had. My insurance did not cover the outpatient program, so I elected to go to AA. On my first meeting day I went to a meeting. While sitting in my car, afraid to go in, a man knocked on my window and asked me to join him. He got me coffee and introduced me to all of these wonderful people and that was the day I decided I wanted what they had. It was a newcomer meeting and I went to that meeting everyday.

Advice

  • Being sober is freeing and life is remarkable
  • Life is not easy, but it is easier when not drinking
  • Living life on life’s terms is awesome
  • Things begin to happen that you could not imagine
  • You can think straight
  • You can hold a job and people respect you for who you are

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June 26th, 2015  in How I Quit No Comments »

I Finally Had Enough

By Tracy
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By Tracy

Why did you decide to quit?

I decided that I had had enough. I’ve been in and out for some time. Enough is enough. I’m not only hurting myself, with black outs, waking up battered and bruised, I’m hurting my husband and dog.

I have been picked up by the police, my car has been impounded, I’ve been taken to the hospital by ambulance as I quit breathing.

I did 28 days in a treatment center, and that was good while I was in there. But when I left the center, I was back in my own environment. The center actually gave me a false sense of security. I was safe there, when I got out, I wasn’t so safe.

I haven’t had drink in 3 months now.

How did you get sober?

I started going to AA 2 years ago.

Up until 3 months ago, I never allowed myself to have any money on my person for the simple reason, that I knew I would use it for alcohol.

Recently, I have been diagnosed with cancer. Surprisingly, I haven’t picked up a drink. And I feel good about that. I have a lot of support from my sponsor and home group. My home life is much happier. I just woke up, and things were good.

I guess I got the message. I read my Daily Reflections and Big Book regularly. I realize now that there is a Higher Power out there. And mine are the people in the rooms and nature. And the Love and support that i get from my husband.

I haven’t had a drink in 3 months, and I just feel good. I do it one step and one day at a time.

I’m thankful to wake up in the mornings without wondering what I did, and how I’m going to fix it ‘this time’. When I go to bed at night, I’m thankful I’m sober when I go to sleep. Not passed out.

I am now doing the steps again. With the help of my sponsor, and doing them more honestly that I had the first time.

I can actually look people in the eye and honestly say that I have 90 days of sobriety. It feels good to be honest, not hide. life is good.

Even tho I have lung cancer, and will have to do chemo and radiation. I hope that I can beat that and stay sober through out my treatment.

Thanks to AA and the people around me, my higher power, I have a positive outlook on both diseases.

Advice

  • Don’t give up. some people like myself, take a little longer than others to get the message.
  • Get a sponsor, someone who you are comfortable with.
  • Go to meetings, as many as possible. It works if you work it.
  • Pray.
  • If you fall, pick yourself up and keep going.
  • Be honest with yourself and others.
  • You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Self respect, respect from others. you will have more confidence in yourself, and have a happy life.
  • Admitt to yourself that you are powerless over alcohol. It’s easy to say it, but harder to accept it.

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June 26th, 2015  in How I Quit No Comments »

I Hit Rock Bottom

By Hank
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By Hank

Why did you decide to quit?

In January of 09 I hit rock bottom. I was a single father living in an apartment with no heat, no job and my head filled with suicidal thoughts. I was filled with self pity and self loathing I looked at my son sleeping, steam poured from his little mouth and I knew at that moment I needed a change in my life.

How did you get sober?

I checked into a detox that day, a week later I got out and moved in with my mom and dad. I started going to AA meetings 2-3 times a day and totally surrendered. I took the advice from other recovering alcoholics and started working the twelve steps. Things were tough at times but I got through it, I had to believe that things would get better and they did. My father got sick with leukemia and I was his caretaker in his final days. I had to give him one my drugs of choice four times a day. When I couldn’t get to a meeting, friends came and watched my dad so i could go. I made it because of the people around me and a higher power. I’m sober ten months now and I’ve gained so much I have my own home and go to college full time.

Advice

  • You have to want it to get it, and be honest. Put your recovery first, everything else should come second.
  • It’s tough in the beginning but its worth it. Stay off the pity-pot and keep moving forward.
  • Make the right decisions no matter how much it hurts. In the end its worth it.

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June 26th, 2015  in How I Quit 1 Comment »

Too Busy for Meetings

By Leolady
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By Leolady

What do you think triggered your relapse?

I got too “busy” to go to meetings. I decided after nearly 10 years of sobriety to work full time and get my master’s degree at night. I didn’t listen to my sponsor when she advised me to take it easy, and to get my degree over time. I thought I should push myself to get the master’s within two years.

I was beginning to feel resentful at work, feeling that I didn’t get every opportunity I deserved. In actuality, I had the best job I’ve ever had in my life – a dream job. Instead of dealing with those feelings in a responsible way, I decided to “tackle” them with hard work.

I was also in a relationship that my sponsor warned me was unhealthy for me. Relationships like that are a pattern with me, but again, I did not listen.

I had little time for meetings, began to exhaust myself, started screwing up at work, cheated on my boyfriend, and eventually picked up.

My relapse was directly related to not listening to my sponsor, not going to meetings, and not taking it easy on myself.

Tips and Tricks

  • I need to ask for help when I’m overwhelmed.
  • I need to take it easy on myself.
  • I must trust my sponsor.
  • I need to talk about my feelings with other healthy women.
  • I need to trust God more.
  • I must go to at least three meetings a week.

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

I Let My Alcoholic Mind Take Over

By Carol G.
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By Carol G.

How long ago was your last relapse?

My sobriety date is October 22, 2003. Six years and eight days ago, I took my last drink to date.

What do you think triggered your relapse?

Not sharing what was going on with my sponsor – keeping a secret because of ego reasons – skipping meetings, avoiding contact with my sponsor, not praying, and working the steps backwards. Nothing unique – just not using the tools I had been given, hence letting my alcoholic mind take over. The thought that I would drink when I returned home (in a month) without ever sharing that plan with a single soul. The hopeless belief that a drink was the only way to fix my problem.

Tips and Tricks

  • There’s no answers in the bottom of a bottle.
  • Nothing lousier than a head full of AA with a belly full of booze.
  • The Program is simple – don’t complicate it.
  • Don’t drink; go to meetings; ask for help and use it.
  • Take suggestions and ask for ideas.
  • Move out of the driver’s seat.
  • Times are tough? Hit a meeting. Times are good? Hit a meeting.
  • The best way to face fear is to walk into it – but not alone.
  • I am NOT unique – I’m just another bozo on the bus.

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

My Control Vanished

By Solas
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By Solas

Why did you decide to quit?

I drank heavily for almost 40 years and I think that I had some control over my drinking. However, that control vanished completely within a period of less than a couple of years. I then realized that I could never drink enough to satisfy my needs and that with all of my willpower, I could not stop drinking on my own – that was one hell of a place to be. The two choices that I had were very clear in my mind: one was to continue to complete ruin (within a short time) and early death; the other was to swallow my pride and seek help. I hated both options.

How did you get sober?

Although I did not like Alcoholics Anonymous or believe very much that they could help me, I soon realized that I was completely wrong. With the help of AA, a Higher Power, and a good sponsor, I found it very easy to get sober. I did not believe in miracles but now, I do.

The 12 Step Program of AA has transformed my life completely. The self-pity that came with the realization that I am an alcoholic is now gone. Before, I barely existed – now I can live.

I can never give enough thanks to God and to AA for what I have been freely given. My great wish is that other people who are suffering because of alcohol will find the strength to reach out and seek that same help, that will bring them happiness, peace of mind and many other benefits.

Advice

  • Without a doubt, the greatest advice that I could give to anyone who is considering quitting is to do what I was afraid to do for so long – go along to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous – you won’t regret it.
  • Give yourself a chance by attending as many meetings as you can manage at the start. Listen to others sharing and some of what they say will begin to stick in your mind.
  • Bear in mind that you are among people who are just like you but who have recovered from alcoholism. They have been where you are and will understand your problems as nobody else can.
  • It will work for you if you want it to work.

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June 26th, 2015  in How I Quit No Comments »

Stressed and Harboring Resentment

By Beth W.
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By Beth W.

How long ago was your last relapse?

My last drink was on April 12, 2004. It happened after almost 18 months of sobriety. I had graduated from a long-term residential treatment program and I was living in their aftercare housing while I completed college.

After graduation, I still attended meetings and therapy but because of transportation and financial issues, my 3-year-old daughter attended most of my meetings with me so, I usually spent the majority of the meeting trying to keep her from disturbing anyone.

What do you think triggered your relapse?

There were several key factors preceding my relapse. One was the fact that I was not able to concentrate on the meetings I was attending. Another is that I was not getting the proper amount of rest. My schedule had me up around 4:45 in the morning and in bed around midnight.

I also had unresolved issues with my self esteem that were triggered when my relationship with a fellow AA member went bad. I was under so much stress that during a therapy session I blurted out that if things didn’t change I was going to drink. I said later in the session when I had calmed down that I hadn’t meant it but my therapist said that for me to make that statement in the heat of the moment like that, that drinking was still an option for me somewhere in my mind. I didn’t think she was right.

However, a couple of weeks later I woke up only with the plan to take the day off from school and just get myself together. I decided to walk to the store. On my way there I was struck with the bright idea that after 18 months of sobriety I could surely drink four beers without any negative consequences. I just wouldn’t get drunk.

I even went so far as to go to a store that sold the 24 oz singles and bought two of those. I didn’t want to buy a six pack because I was only going to drink four! I got home opened the first beer and I looked at the smoke curling up out of the can opening. I put my nose to it and smelled it. The beer seemed harmless enough so I took a sip. All was well so I decided to make an occasion of it. I cooked myself a nice steak and baked potato only before I finished my meal I was out of beer.

For some reason, I had forgotten all about my four-beer quota and I was out the door to buy more beer. I didn’t ever finish my steak. I drank until I passed out and I awoke around 3:30 in the morning feeling ashamed and terrified. I vaguely remember yelling at my daughter and then later putting her to bed telling her she needed to just go to sleep without a story. I remember she had a troubled look on her face.

What’s worse, I wanted another drink. If it hadn’t been raining outside, I would’ve loaded my sleeping child into her stroller and went walking to the beer store at 4:00 in the morning. It was in the midst of pondering how and when I was going to get a drink that morning that I realized that I was just as out of control from that one day slip as if I had never stopped drinking.

Tips and Tricks

  • My therapist had been right. Somewhere in my mind, I had stubbornly clung to the delusion that if things got bad enough, drinking could be an option. I realized that to think I could drink just four beers and control it was insanity. I had been tired, stressed and harboring resentment. I shut myself off from the sunlight of the spirit. Insanity returned and I drank. It was then that I conceded to my innermost self that I was an alcoholic and I could never drink successfully. Today, I take care of myself. Today, drinking is not an option, no matter what. After all, everything does pass!

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June 26th, 2015  in My Last Relapse No Comments »

I Was Forced to Quit

By Sheri D.
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By Sheri D.

Why did you decide to quit?

Dec. 08 I became very sick, I was at home four days before I realized I was on my death bed. I had the worst stomach ache in the world. I call a co-worker and told her to take me to the hospital because I couldn’t take this pain any longer. When I got there my stomach was swollen as if I was nine months pregnant. They told me my that my skin looked grey. The doctor ordered all kinds of test and the results were I had pancreatitis so they admit into the hospital for nine days. I was told I couldn’t drink anymore because my pancreatitis came from excessive drinking. I quit, but it was a struggle.

How did you get sober?

I went to AA and counseling. I am still trying to stay sober, but it’s not easy. It a difference when you try on your own to quit, but it’s even harder when you are forced to quit because of a illness.

Advice

  • Trust God while you go through quitting and He will see you though this trying time. Nobody can do this alone. Seek positive new friends. I lost all of my old friend, but I am okay with that because all we did was drink together.

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June 26th, 2015  in How I Quit No Comments »

My Way Wasn’t Working

By Terri
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By Terri

How long were you in rehab?

Eight weeks, including two in detox hospital and six inpatient / residential without leaving until staff said I could go home. I also did 90 meetings in 90 days and still attend AA on a weekly or more basis – as needed.

What was the most helpful feature of rehab?

I accepted that doing things my way wasn’t working. I began to listen. and I mean really listen. Sometimes I would have to focus on every word said. The other addicts were not always making sense and sometimes hitting me right where I need to feel it. Believe me I hadn’t felt anything for along time! “Big jim” said you’ve been making a cake the same way for 30 years and it hasn’t worked. ie; the definition of insanity is the same thing over and over again. Sounds simple but it hit me that I had destroyed everything and everyone around me including myself. On my last drunk I found myself hitting my 70 year-old-mother in the back of the head with my palm because she was so stupid. And she was the last person left I knew who would even let me speak to her. I’ve been completely clean 8 1/2 years. I now feel, I cry, I really laugh and I listen. I love my family again and thank god they never stopped loving me.

Advice

  • It’s not about stopping, stopping is hard at first because it’s all you know but after some clarity reaches that soggy brain.
  • You will get a bigger HIGH from life and feeling and remembering you moments – good and bad..

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June 26th, 2015  in How I Quit No Comments »